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BurmaNet News: July 2, 2001
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
July 2, 2001 Issue # 1835
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
INSIDE BURMA _______
*Rhododendron News: General Secretary Of The Zomi National Congress
Party Passed Away
*Shan Herald Agency for News: Local people afraid of General Khin
*Burma Courier: Junta Speechmaker Takes a Hard Line on Forced Labour
*Burma Courier: Confusion over Location of Imprisoned Student Leader
*Mizzima: From 'Secret Talk' to 'Real Dialogue' in Rangoon
*BMA: Suzuki still under Pressure to Pull out of Burma
*Burma Courier: Myanmar Airline Still Struggling with Bottom Line
*The Statesman (New Delhi): After India, it will be Myanmar-- NSCN-K
*Bangkok Post: Drug lord recovers from partial paralysis-Rumours of
Bangkok treatment denied
*DVB : Amphetamine seizure in Myawadi
*DVB: NCGUB welcomes release of political detainees, UN envoy's visit
*Boston Globe: Editorial - Message to Burma
*New York Times: Wayne Shorter, at 67, Inspiring a Quest for Perfection
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
Rhododendron News: General Secretary Of The Zomi National Congress Party
Ottawa, June 30, 2001
Pu Vung Za Pau, a 34 - year old, General Secretary of Zomi National
Congress ( ZNC ) had passed away on 23 June 2001 during a stomach
operation at Bohosi hospital in Rangoon.
Pu Vung Za Pau was one of the founding members of the Zomi National
Congress party which won two parliamentary seats from Tidim and Tonzang
constituency in Chin State during the 1990 general elections in Burma.
Pu Vung Za Pau actively participated in the Committee Representing
Peoples Parliament CRPP formed in September 1998 under the leadership of
Aung San Suu Kyi.
The ruling military regime, State Peace and Development Council ( SPDC )
cancelled the registration of ZNC as a political party and its chairman
Pu Cin Sian Thang was arrested by the authority for meeting with United
Nations Special Envoy to Burma in 1999.
Pu Vung Za Pau was born in Tidim Township, Chin State and graduated from
Rangoon University. He was the founder of the "MOMNO" newsletter in Zomi
dialect during his university years.
Shan Herald Agency for News: Local people afraid of General Khin Nyunt's
1 July 2001
According to a report from the north on 27 June, the people of a border
town were thoroughly put off by the exorbitant demands of the local
authorities on them during the preparations for the visit of Burma's No.
3 strongman, Gen. Khin Nyunt that is due soon.
On 26 June, the market in Namkham, 129 miles north of Lashio, northern
Shan State, was "set upon" by the township peace and development council
and the municipality officials, who exacted "contributions" from the
shopkeepers in accordance with the following rates:-
Those selling construction materials K 10,000 each;
Big shops K 8,000 each;
Small shops K 500 each
Shoe shops, big K 3,000 each
They also requisitioned 300-pairs of Yinma brand white shoes for
students who would participate in the reception with dances.
"Even the students had to pay K 2,000 each," said one shopkeeper. "You
can be sure some of the loot will be lining their pockets. Voluntary
contributions, they say. I'd say it's daylight robbery."
Many prayed there be no more visits by Rangoon's top generals in future,
said the source.
Namkham's market has more than 2,000 shops. Gen. Khin Nyunt was going
there for the inauguration of the town's first computer complex,
according to the source.
Burma Courier: Junta Speechmaker Takes a Hard Line on Forced Labour
June 30, 2001
Based on an article in the Myanmar Times, news from MNA: Updated to
June 26, 2001
RANGOON - In an article that bears the marks of the censor's red pencil,
the Myanmar Times and Business Review, has taken note of a global report
on forced labour issued by the International Labour Organization at its
annual conference in Geneva in June.
Entitled, "Stopping forced labour", the report examines the "myriad
forms" of forced labour in the world today and responses to them. Among
the uses of forced labour dealt with in detail are the trafficking of
women and children for prostitution, domestic servitude and sweatshop
employment, debt bondage or indentured labour (particularly prevalent in
South Asia), prison labour and slavery. The report also proposes
specific measures to eliminate what it terms "this terrible practice".
A special chapter deals with what is called "an extreme case: forced
labour exacted by the military". "In contrast to [other] situations in
which governments are acknowledging the existence of various forms
forced labour and making attempts to address them," the report says, "a
few countries reject the idea that there is such a problem."
Military-ruled Guatemala in the 1980s is cited as an example, but the
chapter focuses mainly on Myanmar.
The Times article does not mention the Myanmar chapter but does quote
with apparent approval words of Edward Potter, a U.S. delegate and
Jean-Luc Nordmann, a Swiss representative, both of whom called on the
ILO to strengthen technical and advisory services to members at the June
conference. Myanmar recently agreed reluctantly to accept a technical
mission on forced labour which will visit the country in September.
But technical assistance has its limitations when it comes to problems
as thorny and as deeply embedded as the practice of forced labour is in
Burma, as the report points out in its chapter on Myanmar. "There can
be no real possibility of tackling the problems of forced labour through
specific and targeted programs of technical assistance, until a
government has demonstrated the firm political will to eradicate a
generalized practice, and to investigate and sanction severely the
exaction of forced labour by its own officials."
The "political will" to eliminate forced labour seemed just as remote as
ever this week, if words spoken by the military regime's classic
speechmaker, Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt are to be taken at face value. He told
an audience of Myanmar diplomats this week that "some opposition groups
are spreading allegations based on false information, claiming that
there are widespread human rights abuses and forced labour in the
country. These allegations are completely groundless. The Government is
taking systematic diplomatic steps to refute them and to let the world
know of the true situation of the country".
It's hard to imagine much wriggle-room for a technical mission that is
faced with that kind of public posturing.
Burma Courier: Confusion over Location of Imprisoned Student Leader
June 30, 2001
Based on news from Mizzima and DVB: Updated to June 27, 2001
NEW DELHI - There have been conflicting reports about the current
location of one of Burma's most widely known political prisoners.
A story posted by Mizzima News this week said that student leader Min Ko
Naing had shifted to a prison in Buthidaung township from Sittwe jail
where he has been held for years. A report by the same agency in
January said the condition of the chairman of the All Burma Federation
of Student Unions (Bakatha) had deteriorated and that he found it
difficult to walk without assistance. Observers told Mizzima that the
move would make it more difficult for international human rights
organizations to monitor the situation of student leader.
But a news broadcast by DVB radio last week said the student leader was
still in Sittwe prison and that his health had improved.
Human rights groups have appealed for the release of Min Ko Naing for
years. His release following ten years in prison is long overdue. He
completed his sentence in 1999.
Mizzima: From 'Secret Talk' to 'Real Dialogue' in Rangoon
By Win Htein, June 30, 2001
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)
Some positive political developments came out in recent weeks in
Burma's capital Rangoon from the eight months old "Secret Talks" between
the ruling generals and the opposition National League for Democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi. These include releases of some political
prisoners and allowance to reopen some NLD offices in and outside
The UN's Secretary-General Kofi Annan has welcomed these moves as
positive signs, saying "There is no alternative way, except dialogue",
while Australia, Japan and Britain recognizes the junta's new moves.
In Rangoon, the NLD welcomes them as well. "We hope to see more release
(of political prisoners). More than 200-members of our party are still
in jails. None of them were criminals. So they should be released now,"
said U Lwin, joint secretary of the NLD in a telephone conversation with
Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma.
On 20th June, Bo Hmu Aung, one of the Burma's "Thirty Comrades" along
with his colleagues wrote an open letter to Senior General Than Shwe who
is the head of ruling junta. They welcomed the recent developments as
positive sign but they said the junta needs to do more.
"We entreat the SPDC (the junta) to release imprisoned and incarcerated
political prisoners unconditionally, including Aung San Suu Kyi. We
believe that all legally constituted political parties should be
restored the democratic right" the letter urged.
However, U Saw Mara Aung, elected chairman for the alternative
parliament, Committee for Representing People's parliament (CRPP) and
who was one among the recent releases said, "I really cannot say what is
their attitude, changed or not! It is very premature at this stage. I
was just permitted to return home. I want to meet Daw Suu before talking
about future" in his emotional interview.
Diplomatic sources in Rangoon believe that the issue of political
prisoners is the heart of the discussions between generals and Aung San
Suu Kyi. So that release is a part of confidence-building process. More
progress will come out soon, hopefully.
According to semi-official Rangoon-based paper "The Myanmar Times", the
UN special envoy Razali will come back to Rangoon in July to talk with
both sides. Observers believe that it is the time now to start a real
dialogue for political changes in Burma.
For the opposition camp, although there were some releases of political
prisoners in the past two weeks, Suu Kyi and her two chairmen -Aung Shwe
and Tin Oo - are still under house arrest while other 1500-political
prisoners are having long-term prison sentences. Although the generals
allowed to reopen 18 offices of NLD in Rangoon Division, hundreds of NLD
offices outside the capital are still closed and the party officials are
not allowed to visit there.
"We don't know exactly whether they (junta) will allow us or not to
visit the countryside. When Daw Suu went to outside Rangoon (in
September last year), they blocked her although there is no official
ban", explained U Lwin.
According to Shan sources in Thai-Burma border, the junta's Military
Intelligence (MI) continues to pressure on the members of Shan National
League for Democracy (SNLD) to resign from the party. Some members were
reportedly arrested. SNLD is one of the ethnic nationality parties that
won in the 1990 elections.
Meanwhile, exiled opposition has demanded the immediate release of Aung
San Suu Kyi, her two chairmen and some prominent political prisoners,
including the student leader Min Ko Naing and CRPP secretary U Aye Thar
Aung, before entering into next round of talks.
They also urged the military regime to make official announcement in the
state-run media about the discussions. Some even suspects that the junta
is using the talks as an escape from international pressure.
"If they are really honest on this process, there is no reason to
continue to hide", commented Dr Thaung Htun, representative of the
Burmese exiled government for the United Nations.
"We hope the next round of talks should discuss about principles of
transition for a new government. And we would like to urge both sides to
invite more participation in the next step", he added. For the Burmese
people in general, they continue to wait and see.
Win Htein is a correspondent for Democratic Voice of Burma and
contributed this article to Mizzima News Group.
BMA: Suzuki still under Pressure to Pull out of Burma
By Tin Maung Htoo (Canada)
Burma Media Association
June 29, 2001
After Unocal, Suzuki has become a global target of free Burma campaign.
Activists who oppose investment in Burma have been steadfastly
pressuring the company with several global actions although the company
has still persisted to pull out of its business over the past four
Today in Japan, Suzuki Motor Corp. is to hold its Annual General
Meeting. Usually, it is a rising time for activists to generate more
pressure toward companies doing business in Burma, but the current
location of the company's annual meeting is unreachable for Burma
activists since the Suzuki shareholder meeting is planned to hold in
Hamamatsu city, 125 miles far from Tokyo.
Nevertheless, Sayuri Miyazaki from the Network on Suzuki Burma Issue
(NSBI) said they are doing a Fax Letter Campaign to protest Suzuki's
involvement in Burma, adding: "NSBI is now planning a demo in someday
of July, 2001, in front of the
Suzuki branch office in Tokyo."
The Tokyo-based NSBI was formed last year in an effort to jointly
pressure the company's withdrawal from Burma by the Consumer Union of
Japan, the Transnational Corporation Monitor of Japan, and the People's
Forum on Burma after their separate efforts was in vain in the past
In North America, "Boycott Suzuki Campaign" is more widespread although
the Headquarter is situated in Japan. Activists pressure the Suzuki
through U.S and Canada-based regional offices and retail outlets.
Students-based Free Burma Coalition is the most effective pioneer and
campaigner to push the Suzuki out of Burma, along with various Unocal
In Canada, Burma activists are also vigilant with the Suzuki Boycott
Campaign and have joined in several International Day of Actions with
U.S cities. In April, activists from Toronto Burma Roundtable went to
see with Suzuki Canada's regional officials and union's leaders in
Ingarsoll near London City of Ontario, where the Suzuki Canada plant is
located, and encouraged relevant sectors to pressure the Headquarter in
Japan to get the company out of Burma.
However, when U.S-based activists did the similar approaches to their
San Francisco-based office, they got an unconvinced response from the
regional branch that American Suzuki "has no power" over the company's
involvement in Burma.
An American-Burma activist, Edith Mirante, reacted to the response
that, "it's ridiculous for American Suzuki, or divisions in other
countries, to claim that they cannot influence decisions being made in
Japan." Burma activists still vow that they would intensify the
campaign until the company pulls out of Burma.
Suzuki established the Myanmar Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd in November 1998
with the capital of 6.9 million. It own 60% of the business and 30% is
controlled by Myanmar Automobile & Diesel Engine Industries (MADI), a
department of Industry No.2 under the minister Maj. Gen. Saw Lwin who
is reportedly linked with arms dealing and production in Burma. The
company is reportedly employing 50 employees, 11 are Japanese, and the
rest are Burmese.
According a recent article on Myanmar Times on June 4, the Suzuki
production of motor bikes, passenger cars and small truck decreased in
terms of regulated tough import restrictions. "In its third year of
operation the factory had an assigned capacity of 5,000 vehicles, but
manager told the Times that this had been reduced to 1,680 vehicles due
to a cut back in import allowances for the fiscal year 2000-1," the
Another Japanese motor company Toyota that also invested in Burma left
the country after it found the business to be unprofitable.
Burma Courier: Myanmar Airline Still Struggling with Bottom Line
June 30, 2001
Based on news from Asia Pulse, MNA, Travel Asia, Travel Week: Updated
to June 27
RANGOON - With a leasing contract for its modest fleet of two Boeing
737-400s due to expire at the end of this month, Mayanmar Airways
International has taken steps to downgrade its fleet to 737-300s.
The move is in line with plans outlined by Prithpal Singh, MAI's chief
operating officer, appointed when Region Airlines of Singapore bought a
49% stake in the cash-strapped Myanmar company last December. The
Singapore company, whose primary business is the leasing, buying and
selling of aircraft, is also effectively providing management services
Shortly after he took over in January, Singh told Travel Asia magazine
writer Tim McIntryre the airline had no place to go but up. "Right now,
things are quite frankly, directionless." Singh admitted. "There is no
promotion, no advertising, no positive branding, nothing at all."
Singh also had an interesting observation to make about the airline's
staff of some 140-50 persons. He said that MAI staff were well
educated but had become used to a culture
where they simply acted on instructions. His aim, he said, was to get
the company "up to speed, adopting a commercial attitude and thinking
Over the past six months MAI has kept to its twice a day schedule
between Rangoon and Bangkok, a daily flight to Singapore and a twice
weekly run to Hong Kong. But with load factors for the Boeing 737-400s
hovering at 55 to 60 percent and low aircraft utilization rates because
of short runs, operations must still be far from meeting the company's
bottom line requirements.
The smaller 737-300s have a maximum seating capacity of 126 in contrast
to the larger aircraft's 146 limit and will be more economical to
operate. MAI would like to open up routes to India and Japan and tour
packages out of Singapore.
One of the new aircraft arrived in Rangoon this week from Jakarta where
MAI has signed a long-term maintenance contract with the state-owned
airline, Garuda Indonesia. A note in the official press said that
Transport Minister Hla Myint Swe and his entourage had been out to the
airport to kick the tires and make sure the weeds were cleared off the
runway. Another 737-300 is headed to Indonesia next month for an
The Statesman (New Delhi): After India, it will be Myanmar-- NSCN-K
July 2, 2001
MOKOKCHUNG (Nagaland), July 1. ? The NSCN-K will turn its attention to
Myanmar after the Naga political problem is settled with India and bring
all Nagas together in "one sovereign country."
The NSCN-K and the Centre declared a ceasefire on 28 April after about a
year of "informal" truce.
The NSCN-K general secretary and "prime minister" of the "government of
People's Republic of Nagaland", Mr N Kitovi Zhimomi, told The Statesman
somewhere in Mokokchung district that half the Naga population lives in
Myanmar and his organisation cannot rest till they (Nagas in Myanmar)
and their land are freed from Myanmarese occupation and integrated with
other Nagas and the areas inhabited by them in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh,
Manipur and the present state of Nagaland as on sovereign nation.
Sitting in his seemingly well fortified office ? a close circuit TV
watches for any inimical activity outside the building built on a hill
slope while over a dozen young men with automatic weapons guard the way
to his chamber three stories below the road level ? Mr Zhimomi asserted
that no solution of the Naga political problem could be found within the
"Even if we arrive at any settlement with the Indian government
regarding Nagas living in India, our struggle against Myanmar will
continue," he said.
According to him, about 1.3 million Nagas live inside the
"administrative zone" of the NSCN-K is not so dominant.
"In fact, Myanmar is not very happy that we have entered into a
ceasefire agreement with the government of India and not with them
despite the fact that half the Nagas live there," Mr Zhimomi said. The
NSCN-K chairman, Mr SS Khaplang, is himself form Myanmar.
He said the Myanmar junta had sent feelers to the NSCN-K for a ceasefire
but the organisation has rejected the offer because there is military
rule in that country. "How can we resolve a problem with a military
power," the leader said.
He said a delegation of his government, including some ministers, had
met Myanmarese officials some time ago and apprised them of the NSCN-K'S
demand and the latter's "response was at least not negative as they
acknowledged the existence of the Nagas."
On future talks with the Centre, Mr Zhimomi said the NSCN-K was doing
its homework. "We'll ask the people how they want the problem solved and
we'll ask the people how they want the problem solved and we'll act
accordingly." The NSCN-K will accept any settlement that the Centre may
arrive at with the NSCN-IM, if such a solution is acceptable to the
But will the NSCN-K agree if the Nagas in India war to remain in the
"I have interacted with a lot of people and they, too, are pining for
independence form India," Mr Zhimomi said.
Bangkok Post: Drug lord recovers from partial paralysis-Rumours of
Bangkok treatment denied
July 02, 2001
By Subin Khuenkaew
Khun Sa, former Golden Triangle opium warlord, is back on his feet after
suffering partial paralysis, according to a reliable source who claims
to have seen him at his home in Rangoon two months ago.
The former leader of the Mong Tai Army, who is now 67, was capable of
walking around his house, but needed help in many ways, the source said.
"He had to be spoon-fed. If he tried to feed himself, he ended up
spilling everything on his clothes."
He said the former drug warlord also had trouble remembering things, and
needed help getting up and lying down.
Thai drug officials confirmed they had also heard about Khun Sa's
condition, but denied rumours he had slipped into Thailand for medical
treatment in Bangkok.
The source said Khun Sa had been treated for his paralysis by a Chinese
doctor through an arrangement made by Lo Hsing-han, another surviving
The military junta initially refused to allow the Chinese doctor to
treat him because they did not want outsiders to enter Khun Sa's
residence in Rangoon, which was guarded by Burmese soldiers.
Khun Sa was still watched by at least five soldiers at all times.
The source, a former attendant, said Khun Sa still thought of Ho Mong,
his last mountain stronghold before he surrendered to Rangoon on Jan 7,
1996, and wanted to return to spend his final days there.
However, there was almost nothing left in Ho Mong for Khun Sa to go back
to, the source said.
His five houses-three at Ho Mong and two at Mong Mai-were all run-down.
They had been emptied by his minor wives, who took all the furniture and
anything else of value to their new homes in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and
"It would cost a lot to put even one of them back in shape," the source
Khun Sa has been given a concession to operate a passenger bus and truck
service between Rangoon and nearby towns, but allows his youngest son to
look after his money and business.
Tan Kyaw, or Pitak Changtrakul, 31, has been making frequent trips from
Rangoon to Myawaddy, opposite Mae Sot in Tak, to look after the family's
businesses and to pursue his plan to build an 80-room hotel-casino.
DVB : Amphetamine seizure in Myawadi
DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has learned that over 6m stimulant
tablets were seized in Myawadi, Karen State yesterday afternoon. The
suspects have already been taken to Rangoon. DVB correspondent Maung Tu
filed this report.
[Maung Tu] A Myawadi resident said personnel from the Military
Intelligence Unit-25, Myanmar Police Force, BDSC [Border Development
Supervisory Committee], and anti-drug squad searched a house owned by a
Chinese in Myawadi at about 1500 [local time] yesterday and seized over
6 million Ya Ba amphetamine tablets. A total of five Chinese and Wa
nationals including the owner of the drugs were also arrested and have
been sent to Rangoon. At about the same, Thai authorities also searched
Ban Mae Khang Village in Mae Sot Province of Thailand and seized 180,000
stimulant tablets. The Thai side issued a news report that these
stimulant tablets were trafficked from the Myawadi Hotel on the Burma
side of the Thaungyin River and were seized by Thai (?border police)
group in Mae Sot. This is the second time millions of amphetamine
tablets were seized in the area during this month. Burmese authorities
seized 7m stimulant tablets at a passenger bus depot in Pa-an on 2 June.
Sources close to the authorities said the suspects have given a
statement to the authorities that the stimulant tablets were destined
for Mae Sot in Thailand. But the news of such drug seizures are usually
not officially reported by the SPDC [State Peace and Development
Council] authorities inside Burma and they have also refrained from
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 29 Jun 01
DVB: NCGUB welcomes release of political detainees, UN envoy's visit
The SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] military government's
release of some political detainees and allowing the reopening of
several NLD [National League for Democracy] township branches have been
increasingly welcomed internally and externally. DVB [Democratic Voice
of Burma] has already reported about the remarks by NLD Joint Secretary
U Lwin yesterday. DVB contacted Dr Sein Win, prime minister of the
National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma [NCGUB], to obtain
the views of the exiled elected representatives. DVB will now present
[Dr Sein Win] We welcome this news. We believe the release of more
political prisoners - not only elected representatives but all political
prisoners - and the granting of more political freedom will greatly
enhanced the dialogue process.
[Htet Aung Kyaw] Now that the SPDC has released several some political
prisoners and allowed the reopening of some NLD branches, can you say
that the SPDC has either softened their stance or changed their
[Dr Sein Win] As we have mentioned before we welcomed their actions but
it is only the release of some detainees and allowing the opening of
some party branches. We think they need to review the laws, rules, and
regulations against the political parties.
[Htet Aung Kyaw] According to the news, the release of some detainees
and opening of party branches have been directly accredited to the
progress of the talks between the SPDC and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. What do
you expect from the talks?
[Dr Sein Win] We have already said that we welcomed the talks.
Furthermore, we must all head towards national unity. At present we are
on the right track but we need to gallop at a faster pace.
[Htet Aung Kyaw] Yes. According to the news which we have received, UN
special envoy Mr Razali will return to Burma either at the end of this
month or early next month to help resume the talks. Rumours are
spreading that the talks this time will include particulars about the
transformation. What do you think about the prospects of the talks?
[Dr Sein Win] We really welcomed Mr Razali's trips. The UN can assist us
in everything. In future we will have to redevelop the nation. The
participation of the UN, Mr Razali's visits, and the assistance towards
the resumption and development of the talks are all very much needed and
we welcome such acts.
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 30 Jun 01
Boston Globe: Editorial - Message to Burma
WITH HIS new legislative effort to prevent the state's $30 billion
pension fund from buying stock in any company doing business in Burma -
where an illegitimate narco-junta commits the vilest human rights abuses
- state Representative Byron Rushing is defending the right of the
people of Massachusetts to decide what may be done with their money.
Rushing's earlier selective purchasing act was overturned last year by
the US Supreme Court on the narrow grounds that it had been preempted by
federal sanctions on the junta that were imposed a year after the
Massachusetts law was passed. Both that earlier law and the current bill
were modeled on the precedent of an executive order by which the
Commonwealth had divested from the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Fittingly, it was South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bishop
Desmond Tutu who first gave Rushing the idea to craft legislation that
would free the people of Massachusetts from complicity with Burma's
thuggish military junta. Tutu was acting in solidarity with his fellow
Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been held under house
arrest as the leader of the party that won 80 percent of the seats in
Parliament in Burma's last free elections, in 1990.
The junta has not only thwarted the voters' will, but has collaborated
in the trafficking of heroin and methamphetamine, has forced villagers
to porter for the army across minefields, and has been sanctioned by the
International Labor Organization for its persistent exploitation of
The current bill requiring the state's pension fund to divest from Burma
is markedly different from Rushing's earlier selective purchasing law.
The overturned 1996 law prevented some companies from selling their
goods or services to the state. Rushing's new divestment bill applies
only to the buying of stocks by the state's pension fund, and it will be
hard to argue that stock prices might thereby be improperly depressed or
that this bill conflicts with federal sanctions on the junta.
The state's pension fund is already divested of all tobacco stocks. The
Rushing bill to divest from Burma derives from the deepest moral source
of the American attachment to government that represents the people.
The New light of Myanmar: Vitalization of national spirit: a requirement
for entire people (Part II)
Saturday, 30 June, 2001
(Continued from yesterday)
The persons who have no US dollar income are buying dollars from the
illegal money changers and from those who engage in illegal remittances
at exorbitant exchange rates in the black market, thereby helping to
skyrocket the value of the dollar against the kyat. Such a trend has
also helped encourage the illegal foreign exchange deals of the greedy
persons. I have nothing to say if an artiste goes shopping abroad under
sponsorship of someone or some organization.
It can be clearly seen with national outlook that if a person buy
dollars at the black-market rates to make an unnecessary spending spree
abroad, it will bring no benefit to the nation, the act will be
followed by ill consequences. Besides, it is not that only the
dollarcharging schools can bring out intellectuals, the fact is that
the basic education schools, vocational schools and domestic schools
installed with modern teaching-aids have also the teachers who have the
ability to nurture their pupils to become intellectuals without
charging any foreign currency.
The- dollar-charging courses and libraries opened at some foreign
missions are not the only places where one can acquire English
proficiency. There are many tuition classes, courses, teachers and
experts in our nation who can teach a person to be well-versed in
English without charging dollars.
General knowledge can also be gained through reading books or studying
treatises at the Universities Library, the National Library, the
libraries opened in Mandalay and Pyay, and the libraries opened in the
entire nation by the Information and Public Relations Department. These
institutions do not charge dollars for membership fees. And there are
more. It is most unpleasant that some of the foreign embassies charge
visa fees in dollars or in FECs instead of kyats in issuing visa to
those who want to go abroad. I think that this is not in accord with
the international practice of the embassies. If the Myanmar missions
abroad accept fees for issuance of visas in dollars instead of the
currencies of the respective receiving nations, it will be like
insulting these host nations.
After analyzing the many factors, incidents and consequences, I finally
find the answer to the question of the rising commodity prices. Here, I
would say that the dollar-dealing persons are the main culprits who are
trying to extend the area of the illegal dollar market in Myanmar,
which will bring ill consequences to the entire national people. Thus,
I am presenting all about the bad habits' of these dollar-dealing
persons, who totally lack clear national outlook, in this article.
The greedy persons are thus creating the fuel oil problem and spreading
the rumour concerning the increase in the monthly salaries of the
government employees, which is an outdated idea; with such excuses they
begin to hoard goods with the aim of hiking consumer prices. The people
have accepted the perpetrations of the greedy businessmen in various
forms and methods to raise the commodity prices as the storm which has
resulted from the greed.
However, because of the past experiences and lessons, the entire people
of Myanmar know well that a rumour is ephemeral. It is natural that a
rumour will vanish in the air as it is formed only with words. At
present, the storm of rising commodity prices has begun to die down as
the authorities concerned are taking action against the fuel oil
hoarders and illegal money changers. The commodity prices are falling
gradually. As the prices of the main food items such as rice, cooking
oil, beans, chilli, onion and potato are in a stable situation, there
is no need for the entire people of Myanmar to panic.
However, it is not so reasonable that the State has to solve all the
problems in Myanmar. The entire people of Myanmar are required to
firmly uphold the national spirit to serve the interests of the nation
and the people and to stay away from acts causing harm to them with
their own conviction, knowledge and commitment in accord with the
teachings of the Lord Buddha. The national spirit should not be in
words alone, it must be materialized into practical deeds. If we cannot
materialize national spirit into practical deeds but harm the national
interests we will confront the storm of rising commodity prices again
and again. Moreover, the efforts to halt the rising commodity prices
and to prevent against worsening situations will drain our resources,
and will thus delay our march towards realizing the national goal.
If all the Myanmar people of different ages are vitalized with the equal
degree of national spirit, I am confident that we will be able to
confront all attempts to cause rising commodity prices.
Author : Pauk Sa
New York Times: Wayne Shorter, at 67, Inspiring a Quest for Perfection
[BurmaNet adds: Wayne Shorter is a famous Jazz musician and composer
whose composition, Aung San Suu Kyi won a Grammy award.]
June 30, 2001
Wayne Shorter, touring with his new band, at Avery Fisher Hall.
Wayne Shorter could be the one remaining figure in jazz for whom one
never gives up raised expectations, the last of the demigod jazz
sphinxes. But why should it be he? If it's for his involvement in the
1960's Miles Davis quintet, he isn't the sole remaining musician from
that group. It's not because he always stayed pure, in some ghastly
sense of jazz conservationism: he's had his tricky moments with jazz
fusion and long ago gave up New York for Los Angeles. Part of it is his
silence, the long gaps between albums that suggest artist-at-work. But a
much larger part of it is the power of his writing. And if it really is
his compositions that drive the incredible wave of support, nostalgia,
empathy and interest among hardcore jazz fans for Mr. Shorter's
projects, then perhaps we ought to stop the hedging and qualifying and
call him the greatest living composer of jazz. Others have written on a
more impressive scale: Muhal Richard Abrams, Wynton Marsalis, George
Russell. But within the small-group language of common practice, it is
Mr. Shorter whose pieces weather better through time.
And yet Mr. Shorter, now 67, has never really exploited his high
status as a composer for acoustic small- group jazz. The first tour of
his new quartet, which made a stop at Avery Fisher Hall on Thursday
night during the JVC Jazz Festival, is the first tour he's ever made
leading an acoustic band. The concert, surprisingly brief, was a
five-song retrospective; the band is touring a lot this summer, and it's
exciting to ponder an important repertory finally made sense of,
something that happens to too few living jazz musicians.
The musicians in the band - Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on
bass, Brian Blade on drums, all of them pretty close to the top of
their field on their respective instruments - seemed scarily committed
to the opportunity of making a perfect band for Mr. Shorter, almost
ready to die for it. What they're playing, in a sense, is the
validation of their years of craft and struggle, given that they came
into their professional years in the 1980's and 90's, when the template
of the 60's Davis quintet - its marriage of limber improvising and
changeable form, its accommodation of virtuosity and antivirtuosity -
seemed more and more relevant. Playing "Valse Triste," "Chief
Crazyhorse," "Aung San Suu Kyi," "Masqualero," "Atlantis" and "Juju,"
some of them joined together, the band hardly ever kept a constant
rhythm. The tempos and dynamics were in flux, and the musicians were
searching for the moments when
they could come together, only to let the music collapse and be
Mr. Shorter, on tenor saxophone for all but "Aung San Suu Kyi," when
he played soprano with rare strength and focus, was a self-effacing
bandleader, playing remarkably less than most leaders do. On the other
hand, he was playing more than we've come to expect from him:
stuttering patterns of notes that every once in a while crested into a
The rhythm section expertly built and faded the music around him; it
was a lot of pressure for any saxophonist to wear the crown the band
was constructing for him. He is not as strong a saxophonist as he used
to be, and there were moments where his intonation failed on the tenor,
and even a few moments where he seemed a little lost. But his slight
frailties complemented his mysteriously runic songs, models of
wasteless melody and imaginative harmonic movement. It's unquestionable
that he was more engaged than he has seemed in at least the last five
years; there's no reason not to expect the best from this band's
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